Luis Suarez almost sank Barcelona move with Georgio Chiellini bite and pathetic excuse

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ON THIS DAY: Luis Suarez offered up a pathetic excuse for biting Georgio Chiellini during a group stage match at the 2014 World Cup, and later feared his move to Barcelona would collapse as a result

Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini during a group stage match at the 2014 World Cup
Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini during a group stage match at the 2014 World Cup

Luis Saurez’s infamous bite on Italy star Giorgio Chiellini almost led to him scuppering his big-money move to Barcelona.

The Uruguay striker was taking on Italy in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup, with the winner of the clash booking their place in the last 16. Rather than be remembered for a stunning goal though, Suarez’s actions during the game went down in history for all the wrong reasons.

As the ball was being flicked in the air by a succession of Uruguay attackers and Italian defenders, Suarez ran towards Chiellini in the box. Virtually as soon as the pair collided, and with Chiellini looking towards the ball, Suarez grabbed his arm and bit his shoulder, having two clear attempts to bite him.

Chiellini immediately recoiled, with both players falling to the ground, with Suarez not even being booked for his actions after bizarrely clutching his teeth. The matter was subsequently brought before a FIFA disciplinary panel after referee Marco Rodríguez admitted missing the incident.

The seven-member panel handed down a stunning four-month ban, which prevented him from taking part in any football-related activity, even as a spectator. Suarez himself was invited to make a defense to the panel, penning a letter in which he provided a quite frankly pathetic excuse.

“In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite. After the impact… I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth, “he said.

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Suarez claimed he had lost his balance and merely collided with Chiellini but was banned for four months

Suarez’s attempted defense fell on deaf ears though, with the panel ruling he had attempted to bite Chiellini having studied 34 camera angles of the incident. As well as being banned for four months, he was fined £ 66,000 and suspended for nine Uruguay matches, with the panel blasting him for his lack of remorse.

They ruled that the bite was “deliberate, intentional and without provocation. He bit the player with the intention of wounding him or at least of destabilizing him. At no time did the player show any kind of remorse or admit to any violation of FIFA rules.

“And therefore showed no awareness of having committed any infraction. The minimum punishment was not sufficient to have the necessary dissuasive effect. Previous bans did not have an effect.”

Just a few weeks later, Suarez completed a £ 65million move to Barca, forming the famous MSN partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar. But it was a move that the striker later revealed nearly did not happen because of his biting ban.

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“We scored our goal a few minutes after [the bite]when Godin scores, and I don’t celebrate it as much as I usually would – the way everyone else celebrated it – because I was already thinking about the aftermath, ”he told the Players’ Tribune.

“I think in the few days after that – before they kicked me out of the World Cup – that’s when I spoke with Zubi [former director of football Andoni Zubizarreta]and [Josep Maria Bartomeu] the president, and they told me to be calm because Barca still wanted me.

“And I have no problem saying it, I cried. Because, they were accepting, and me going through what I did in that moment, and with the s *** I had caused, it was complicated to trust in me. Truth is, Barca has been so good to me, and I will always be very grateful for that. ”







The ban almost sank his move to Barcelona, ​​where he won four La Liga titles
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Image:

FC Barcelona via Getty Images)

For his part, Chiellini defended Suarez, despite being the victim of a bizarre assault. Instead, the Italian believed that it merely showed a key part of the striker’s game, which he encouraged him to keep.

“Malice is part of football, I wouldn’t call it illegitimate. I admire his cunning. If he lost it, he’d become an ordinary forward. Suddenly I noticed that I had been bitten in the shoulder. It just happened, but “his strategy in hand-to-hand combat and, if I may say so, it’s mine too. He and I are alike, and I like to take on attackers like him,” he said in his autobiography.

Despite appealing his ban, it was mostly unsuccessful, with the striker able to only take part in training for the first four months of his Barcelona career. After he returned though, he was incredibly successful, winning four La Liga titles and the Champions League.

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